Happy birthday cheers and hugs go out today to Queen Beyoncé, who turns 34 and even more fabulous (if that's even possible) on Sept. 4. The singer and icon has done it all — from serenading Barack and Michelle Obama at the 2009 presidential inauguration with her rendition of Etta James' "At Last" to breaking U.S. iTunes sales records in 2013 by selling 617,000 copies of her self-titled album in three days. Is there anything she can't accomplish? No. Is there any reason for her to fear growing older and becoming an even more successful artist, human being, mom, and future grandma in her forties, fifties, sixties, and beyond? Not at all.
Still, getting older and facing down 35 — or 40 or 50 — isn't always easy for everyone. If you count yourself as one of millions of people who falsely believe life starts and ends abruptly at 25, you desperately need the 34 Beyoncé lyrics below in your life to remind yourself that age ain't nothing but a number — and that the higher the number, the more opportunities you have to learn, grow in your fierce skin, and have a good ol' time living life. Allow Bey to school you on some of the wisdom she has acquired in her 34 glorious years on Earth. Here are some of her lessons.
1. Every Age Has Its Good And Bad
"This is for them 20 somethings/Time really moves fast, you were just 16/This is for them 30 somethings/That didn't turn out exactly how your mom and dad wanted you to be/This is for them 40 somethings/Well raise up your glass and laugh like a motherf*cker/This is for them 50 somethings/Hell, you're halfway there, baby take it to the head." — "Schoolin' Life"
2. Remember How Excited You Were To Become An Adult
"At 14 they asked me what I wanna be/I said "Baby 21, so I'd get me a drink.'" — "Schoolin' Life"
3. Develop Your Mind, Not Just Your Body
"This is for them pretty somethings/Living in a fast lane, see you when you crash babe/This is for them sexy somethings/That body ain't gon' always get ya out of everything." — "Schoolin' Life"
4. Live In The Moment
"This is for them bitter somethings/Stop living in regret, baby, it's not over yet/And this is for them trippin' somethings/That's high on life, baby, put me on your flight." — "Schoolin' Life"
5. Defy Everyone's Expectations
"I took some time to live my life/But don’t think I’m just his little wife." — "Bow Down"
6. You're Never Too Young To Start Living Your Dream
"Since 15 in my stilettos, been strutting in this game/'What's yo age?'/That's the question they ask when I hit the stage/I'm a diva, best believe her, you see how she getting paid?" — "Diva"
7. The First Person You Love Isn't Always Meant To Be Your Last
"When I thought that we'd grow up and grow together the same time/Guess I passed you by at that old 'Stop' sign." — "Stop Sign"
8. Sometimes You Have To Let Go To Discover What's Right For You
"Cause I've been traveling traveling traveling/Only to find out that/I'm making this trip alone/And I've been staying behind while you refused to go." — "Stop Sign"
9. Be Proud Of What You've Got
"Damn I know I'm killing you with them legs/Better yet them thighs/Matter a fact it's my smile or maybe my eyes/Boy you a site to see, kind of something like me." — "Ego"
10. Know Your Worth
"I can't believe I fell for your schemes/I'm smarter than that/So young and naive to believe that with me/You're a changed man." — "Me, Myself & I"
11. Once A Cheater...
"Foolish of me to compete/When you cheat with loose women/It took me some time but now I moved on." — "Me, Myself & I"
12. Love Yourself First
"Cuz I realized I got /Me myself and I/That's all I got in the end/That's what I found out /And it ain't no need to cry/I took a vow that from now on/I'm gonna be my own best friend." — "Me, Myself & I"
13. Realize Your Parents Are Only Human
"I still remember the expression on your face/When you found out I'd been on a date and had a boyfriend (My first boyfriend, you should have seen your face)/I still remember I caught you crying cause of my tattoo." — "Daddy"
14. And Then Thank Your Parents For Loving You
"I want my unborn son to be like my daddy/I want my husband to be like my daddy/There is no one else like my daddy/And I thank you for loving me." — "Daddy"
15. Remain Humble
"Seems like I always fall short (fallin short) /of bein worthy (Lord I aint worthy) /Cuz I aint good enough (no no)/but he still loves me (still loves me)." — "He Still Loves Me"
16. Own Your Feelings
"I may never understand why/I'm doing the best that I can/I tried and I tried to forgive this/But I'm much too full of resentment." — "Resentment"
17. Always Keep Some Spice In Your Life
"Ladies look here, when you been with your man for a long time/Every now and then you gotta go back in the closet and pull out that freakum dress." — "Freakum Dress"
18. Don't Settle For Someone Who Disrespects You
"You must not know about me, you must not know about me/I could have another you in a minute/Matter of fact, he'll be here in a minute, baby/You must not know about me, you must not know about me/I can have another you by tomorrow/So don't you ever for a second get to thinking/You're irreplaceable." — "Irreplaceable"
19. Sometimes You Have To Let Your Walls Down And Trust People
"Remember those walls I built?/Well, baby they're tumbling down/And they didn't even put up a fight/They didn't even make a sound/I found a way to let you in/But, I never really had a doubt/Standing in the light of your halo/I got my angel now." — "Halo"
20. Having A Baby Changes Life In Ways You Never Thought Possible
"Well look at me/You were brought into my life/I kiss those little feet/And watch for your perfect smile/And when it comes/The world stops in your eyes/I found love/I found peace with the purest kind." — "God Made You Beautiful"
21. Becoming A Woman Feels Powerful
"They love the way I walk/'Cause I walk with a vengeance/And they listen to me when I talk/'Cause I ain't pretendin'/It took a while, now I understand/Just where I'm going/I know the world and I know who I am/It's 'bout time I show it." — "Grown Woman"
22. Don't Regret Your Choices
"'Cause I put it (down like that, down like that)/And I'm making (all these racks, all these racks)/And I'm moving (round like that, round like that)/When I do it (I don't look back, don't look back)." — "Grown Woman"
23. Looks Aren't Going To Solve Your Problems
"Pretty hurts, we shine the light on whatever's worst/We try to fix something but you can't fix what you can't see/It's the soul that needs the surgery." — "Pretty Hurts"
24. If Your Soul Is Young, You'll Remain Forever Young
"Diamonds used to be coal/Look young cause they got soul/That's why they're beautiful/And my heart used to be cold/'Til your hands laid on my soul/Baby, that's why you're beautiful." — "That's Why You're Beautiful"
25. Cut Loose When You Need It
"You gotcha hair done and your nails done too/And your outfit and your in your shoes/You parlaying at the hottest spot tonight/You're gonna find the brothas/Rollin in the Lexus, trucks and Hummers." — "Jumpin', Jumpin"
26. Be Fiercely Independent
"Question: Tell me how you feel about this/Try to control me boy you get dismissed/Pay my own fun, oh and I pay my own bills/Always 50/50 in relationships." — "Independent Women"
27. Realize No One Can Control Your Life But You
"You thought that I'd be weak without you /But I'm stronger/You thought that I'd be broke without you /But I'm richer/You thought that I'd be sad without you/I laugh harder/You thought I wouldn't grow without you /Now I'm wiser/Though that I'd be helpless without you/But I'm smarter/You thought that I'd be stressed without you /But I'm chillin'/You thought I wouldn't sell without you /Sold 9 million." — "Survivor"
28. Beauty Comes In All Shapes And Sizes
"I don't think you ready for this jelly/I don't think you ready for this/Cause my body too bootylicious for ya babe." — "Bootylicious"
29. Find Your Voice And Use It (Often)
"You don't know what I'm feeling/I'm more than what you made of me/I followed the voice you gave to me/But now I gotta find my own." — "Listen"
30. Family Is Everything
"We are a family like a giant tree/Branching out towards the sky/We are a family, we are so much more/Than just you and I." — "Family (End Title)"
31. Fight For Things And People You Believe In
"I don't know much about fighting, but I know I will fight for you." — "1+1"
32. Real Love Completes You
"It's the way that you know what I thought I knew." — "Crazy in Love"
33. Never Underestimate What Grown Women Are Capable Of Doing
"We're smart enough to make these millions/strong enough to bear the children/Then get back to business." — "Run the World (Girls)"
34. Gratitude, Always
"Woke up and realized this world's not so bad after all/Looked at it through a child's eyes, and I saw these beautiful/Things that you never think about/Like the ocean, moonlight, stars and clouds/It's amazing how we don't appreciate our blessings/There's plenty of people who don't like me/But since there are more who love me and I love myself/Sometimes, it gets tough, it gets tough/But I can't give up, can't give up/Just take a deep breath, close my eyes/Feel the love and give a smile." — "Happy Face"
Happy birthday, Queen Bey! Kill 'em this year, this decade, and for the rest of your life.